Portlaoise was well represented at the Euro 2012 soccer championships in Poland where they proudly flew the flag for the Town.
Ger Egan and his wife Marie were among a group of 20 locals to travel. They are all part of the Poolside Shamrocks soccer team who play at the Portlaoise Leisure Centre.
Ger, from New Road, went to the Croatia and Spain games and met up with plenty from Laois. He enjoyed the craic.
“It was unreal. I never saw anything like it in my life...We met more Laois lads out there. We met a few from Timahoe, Crettyard. There was a fierce big Laois crowd out there,” he said.
Ger who didn’t rough in a campervan was impressed by the Polish hospitality who did not put up the price.
“I never thought Poland was as nice. Anybody I met out there said they would go back. Ten pints for ten euro...They never put up any prices. They were very nice and there was no trouble,” he said.
While the matches didn’t go to plan Ger said the atmosphere was “incredible and outstanding”.
Ger said ten lads stayed behind for the final match against Italy.
“It was a trip of a lifetime but it could be another 24 years before we see it again,” he said.
Laois Labour Party Senator, John Whelan was among those who enjoyed the games with the Portlaoise contingent. Senator Whelan told the Leinster Express that the Portlaoise fans were enjoying the fun.
“Portlaoise soccer fans were in fine form and fine voice in Poland this past week as they cheered on the Boys in Green in Gdansk. There has been a strong contingent from the Town and all over Laois at the Euro 2012 tournament and our photos show everyone in great fettle and enjoying the festive atmosphere in Gdansk and in the Arena Gdansk where the four nil drubbing by Spain did nothing to dampen the Irish spirits,” he said via e-mail.
The Senator went to the Spainish game with Portlaoise soccer fans Pat Ryan, Paul Ryan, Kevin Donegan, and Alan Daly.